Lesson 9 – Calm Before the Storm
Before we discuss induction methods, we need to discuss our practical mindset in preparation for the induction.
The methods employed for induction are all, at some level, mental routines so we need to have our minds clear and focused. Think about it, we need our minds to take very precise instruction and not get distracted. Think of it as how you might prepare for a fight, total single mindedness is a necessity.
In order to achieve this we will have to quieten the mind. This is the basis of meditation. A clear mind is a more productive mind as it can focus on a single event.
In our normal day to day meanderings, our minds are like butterflies, floating from flower to flower not quite sure which flower it wants to stay on. Even when we think we are doing something properly, more often than not, our minds are being pulled different directions.
The mind employs his kind of automatic wandering in an effort to make sure we are aware of our surroundings so as not to get eaten by a tiger while we are watching TV!
Sometimes we want to switch this off, but the mind is more often than not unwilling to listen. If the mind is left to its own devices, this can be quite a challenge, so a little training will be necessary to regain control of this. The fundamental principle of meditation is to occupy the mind with a single duty so as to occupy this part of the mind to allow the rest of the mind to have peace. There are many ways of achieving this martial artists from many back grounds will already possess a great deal of knowledge on this subject.
An exercise of quietening the mind for 20 minutes a day or even every couple of days will be what is needed here.
To do this we will need to relax completely and then just allow our minds to settle. We then perform something known as silently observing our own thoughts. To do this, we assume a detached mental position; we form a mind behind the mind. We literally form another mind that silently, watches the thoughts in our own minds. This silent watcher duty causes the thoughts to start to slow down by causing gaps to occur between thoughts and then gradually, as the gaps get longer, spaces of “NO THOUGHT” begin. These vacuums of thought are the basis for a quite mind. By attaining this empty mind we can learn to repopulate it with single thoughts to create a focused intention. This is, what is referred to as Meditation.
Like many traditional ideas, this technique is largely unsubstantiated, scientifically speaking. How does becoming the silent observer of the mind cause the thoughts to stop?
I have never heard a single answer to this question (scientifically speaking), so I am going to speculate and offer you a theory of my own, based on another scientific
principle called The Observer Effect. If one was walking down the street and minding
one’s own business and then stopped to be told to carry on about our business but that we were being observed for an experiment. The experiment requires us to just carry on as though the other person wasn’t even there, to just ignore them.
Needless to say we would immediately become quite self conscious and start to act a little differently, aware that we are being observed. This, in turn may in avertedly influence the outcome of the experiment. The effect of the introduction of an observer into this experiment is referred to as The Observer Effect.
The observer effect can be applied to any kind of scenario and in the case of the mind, I would speculate that by letting the mind know that we are watching it, we are influencing it to become self conscious and start to almost hide its thoughts. This creates the “less thoughts state of mind”, gradually quietening the babbling brook of thoughts that normally flow by.
On this subject, I am always glad to hear some thoughts but I am happy with my own theory so far.
We will be incorporating our meditative, mind quietening as part of our induction but
I also urge you to try to take ten minutes a day to practice this.
Practice this as follows:
Sit or lie down, alternatively sit cross legged with your hands resting on your legs.
Sitting has the advantage of not allowing you fall asleep.
Close your eyes and relax
Start to take three deep breaths. Breathe deeply into your belly, NOT INTO YOUR RIB CAGE as is commonly believed in Western culture.
Breathe in through your nose slowly and deeply, for up to 8 seconds and then out through your mouth with gently pursed lips, like blowing out a candle, for a similar period of time. The pursing of the lips here helps to reduce air flow and subtly keeps you from nodding off to sleep
A gentle humming motion, like a VVVVVV motion with your teeth and lower lip can be made here at the same time as breathing out. If one feels a little self conscious of this, gentle meditative music can be played at the same time to relieve this for a while. There will be further discussion on this extensive topic (sound technology) later
Continue breathing like this while telling yourself on every exhale to relax completely
Really feel your entire body relax on every exhale, like the air going out of a huge tire, visualise a similar image if it helps
You can also visualise your inhaling as warm glowing energy being taken in and your exhale as cold, blue, stale air being passed out
5 to 10 minutes of this practice should yield a very relaxed state of mind (with time and experience this can be almost instantly achieved with a minute’s breathing and positive intention to become deeply relaxed)
Now you can allow your breathing to become shallow and only through your nose, gradually allowing it to become faint enough for you to barely notice it
Falling asleep is a real temptation so beware – gently stimulate the mind with thoughts
but don’t allow your mind to wander off the subject; this is also a real temptation
Now you can commence telling your subconscious what you want
Allow your mind to settle, your thoughts can be like dust just falling away
Do not give the thoughts any energy; just watch them in a detached fashion
Don’t judge the thoughts, just let them pass. If you do find yourself tangled up in a thought, don’t wrestle with it, just allow it to pass and then allow your mind to clear again
Gradually you will start to notice the gaps in your thinking, until hopefully you will soon start to experience pure silence.